Discovering Plants and Gardens of NE Corfu.

The voyage of discovery is as precious as life itself and that’s why whenever I am presented with a new opportunity to travel, I jump at it whole heartedly, especially if it means I get to further develop my Horticultural career.

So when my job as Head Gardener/ Estate Manger for a prestigious location on the outskirts of London, asked if I would consider managing their property in Corfu. I did not have to think twice. Life is full of new challenges, in-fact without them I become stagnant and actively seek out new projects, be it a change in career or a new hobby or learning curve.

Having experienced Gardens in Greece, Spain, Tunisia, Italy, Poland and North East Coast USA, I already have an understanding of the effect and diversity that climatic changes has upon plant species and their distribution. Demographics is an important element of understand of the cultural differences between different growing environments. Taking into consideration the location, the climate, growing season and hardiness rating is key to creating a successful garden and planting schedule.

Corfu is rich in natural plant life and this ecological database is the best place to start. Researching the range of trees, plants and bulbs that grow wild enables the gardener to build upon by introducing species from the same genera that enjoy the same conditions.

Wild flowers are always the most drought resistant and tolerant of localised growing conditions. Naturally adapted to their habitat wild flowers are the key to discovering closely related cultivated species that will thrive in the same terrain. If your looking to re-create a natural rock face with wild alpines or a meadow rich in flora, grasses and mosses then look to nature! But if you want a more controlled, colourful garden that lasts many seasons and always has plants of interest then you will be best to start to advance from native species and construct a plant list that is derived from nature.

Corfu in late Spring was an amazing experience and I look forward to returning in late Autumn, ready for large scale planting of hardy shrubs and perennials before the winter rains. I hope you will follow my journey as Estate Manger and enjoy sharing my articles with your friends and family.

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About Head Gardener 284 Articles
Award winning, 40 something year old professional plantsman and horticulturalist with National Trust, private parks and estate management background. My vast plant knowledge and hands on techinical experience, afforded me the opportunity to work in various horticultural landscapes, in the UK, USA & Eastern Europe. Having worked in both garden retail & the design service industry gave me the practical diversity and managerial skill set, required for running a large prestigious gardens and stately homes. I strongly believe knowledge is to be shared and have worked closely with people and staff of all ages and abilities keen to develop their passion for gardening, including groups of children, special needs and adults. I have hosted guided walks, talks and tours for those keen to learn about cultivated and wild plants, garden development, history and design. As an member of the NNCPG and National Trust, I am actively involved in the preservation of several important plant collections both in public and private gardens throughout the UK. “It’s a beautiful thing when a career and a passion grow together, in a garden it’s paradise” Follow @IGrowHort on GardenTags. Stephen is passionate about gardening as Head Gardener with a team of ten staff he manages a prestigious Cheshire country estate of 55 acres, inc wild flower meadows, woodland, organic kitchen and formal gardens. Follow Stephen today”

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